Daily Archives: July 26, 2000
Samuel L. Jackson takes on director John Singleton’s remake – shut you mouth! I mean “newer” Shaft and spins it with effortless style and some surprising scenes of wit and even suspense. Shaft used to be a landmark in cinema, and for the black community as well, as it went full forward smashing taboos. It was more of a statement than good art because it wasn’t really art (the character in the novel was white, by the way). Jackson’s Shaft is more of a thug then the kinder gentler lady pleasure that was Richard Roundtree. This Shaft is never once preoccupied with being any landmark but doesn’t strive to be anything more then entertaining fun. The story is what surprised me most because it actually had interesting people and a well told tale. Taking a cue from the Batman franchise the villains are far more interesting and luminous then anyone else, and Christian Bale and a star-making performance by the always talented Jeffrey Wright end up making each of them a wonder on screen. Their chemistry together is worth the price of admission alone, even if you are tired of Bale playing white-collar pretty boys now (he still murders in each though!). Shaft is a loud and fast breath of summer but it’s one that surprising and very entertaining.
Nate’s Grade: B